Red Bull Racing pair Brian Vickers and Scott Speed suffered mixed results in the Gatorade Duels at Daytona with Vickers impressing to secure a strong grid slot for the Daytona 500.
Vickers took part in the second race and found himself near the front for the run to the flag after pitting for tyres shortly before a caution period, which saw the result of the field head for pit road.
The #83 Toyota moved into third on the back stretch on the final lap but despite trying to draft past Kyle Busch and Mark Martin, Vickers fell just short and had to settle for third place.
As a result, he will start the 500 on Sunday from sixth on the grid.
“We had a really good handling car all day, and that made the difference for us,” he said. “We had a shot at it, for sure. Down the backstretch they started racing and we tried to push Mark. Mark and I both had a really good run, and Kyle blocked. Then I had an opportunity to pass both of them, but they beat me to the line.”
Team-mate Speed wasn't as fortunate in the opening race when he was taken out by Boris Said after the #06 car suffered a puncture while ahead of the former F1 racer on track.
Speed managed to finish 25th and will go to a back-up car for the Daytona 500. He won't practice Friday while the team prepares the car and will return to the track Saturday.
“We were behind Boris Said, and he blew a tyre and collected us,” Speed, who will start the 500 from 38th on the grid, said. “We scraped the wall and messed up something on the car. We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time — there's nothing we could have done to avoid it — except if we'd been running somewhere else.
“We just have to brush these incidents off our shoulders and move on to race day. The good news is that we've been so unlucky this week that the Daytona 500 has to go our way.”